#1. Always play with a friend. You get an xp bonus for playing with a friend, and the more friends you play with, the more xp you get.
#2. Use a Recruit-A-Friend link! If you have a friend who already plays Heroes of the Storm, ask them for their Recruit-A-Friend link.
Using a RAF link will immediately grant you a 5-day stimpack and access to the Raynor hero.
Some notes about this link:
If you don't have a friend who plays Heroes of the Storm, EU players can use my RAF link below (see comments for a US RAF link). Please note, the only bonus I will gain for your using this link is a HotS mount if another 9 players reach level 10. I do not care about this reward at all (nor do I expect to earn it). I am only sharing the link so that players can get a free 5-day stimpack and two free heroes (Raynor immediately, and Sylvanas when you reach level 10).*Recruits must be level 5 or lower to be eligible for recruitment.
*Rewards are only awarded in the game region where the initial recruitment took place. For example, if a player in the Americas sends a recruitment link to players in Europe, the recruits will not receive rewards unless they also play in the Americas.
My EU RAF link: https://battle.net/recruit/WF9PJZB7GR
#3.For the best XP per match, you will want to destroy all enemy forts and towers. It should also be noted that once you have more than 4 levels than the opposing team, you will get more XP for killing minions than heroes. Matches that last only 3 minutes or less grant significantly less xp than longer matches, so you may be better off playing with AI teammates, who do not simply want to rush the middle lane and win as fast as possible.
#4. You cannot AFK during the matches. This was something people used to do when the promotion first came out. If your hero is inactive during a match, you will be removed from the match and you will not gain any XP.
#5. You will earn a 7-day stimpack when you hit level 10. With this in mind, you might want to save hitting level 10 for a time when you know you will not be out of town, or even for the next day, if you know that the next match would otherwise be the last match of the day.
#6. You can play versus AI on beginner mode and it won't impact your XP gain. XP and Gold rewards do not scale with difficulty level, so you don't have to torture yourself with the harder difficulty settings if that's not your cup of tea. (Thanks to Quintessence for asking about this.)
#7. Have fun! It may sound like a useless tip but it's actually the most important one. HotS is a game after all! If you go in considering it a chore, it will absolutely be one. Try to relax and don't take the game too seriously. If you die, you just respawn a few seconds later anyhow! Reading a quick beginner's guide might help you become more relaxed in game, as you'll understand the mechanics better (one of the most important tips: let the minions go ahead of you, so they take all the damage. When they are nearly all dead, make sure you move away from any nearby towers or forts). These beginner guides on reddit might help:
- A beginners guide to HotS by IronPirate
- Complete Beginner's Guide to HOTS by a Top 200 player by FusilladeHOTS
That's all I have for now. I've never played any ranked matches, and I've never played brawls, so I don't know what kind of xp you get from those play modes. If you have any other tips, or you want to share your RAF link, please do so in the comments! Remember, the RAF links are region locked, so make sure you use one from the correct region.
Good luck and have fun!